Historic Lynchburg sites awarded national grant to help preserve Black history

The Lynchburg sites are two of only 33 locations to be selected nationwide

The Anne Spencer House is receiving funds to award an executive director

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A couple of historic sites in Lynchburg are receiving a special honor.

The Lynchburg sites are two of just 33 locations that were awarded a national grant to preserve African American history.

The Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum is receiving funds to employ an executive director, who will help run the exhibit and work on community outreach.

Spencer was a poet and lived in the home which is now designated as a Virginia landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“She published over 30 poems in her lifetime. She’s one of the first African American women to be published in the [Norton Anthology of Modern Poetry], and she was so grateful to have lived to see that,” said Shaun Spencer-Hester, Spencer’s granddaughter who currently volunteers to oversee the museum.

A grant was also awarded to a house just down the road on Pierce Street, where Dr. Robert Walter Johnson lived.

Johnson was a physician who built a tennis court next to his home to coach African American players including Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson.

You can learn more about the grant here.

About the Author:

Tim Harfmann joined the 10 News team in September 2020 and works at the station's Lynchburg bureau.